NASA Ames Research Center issued a March 29 notice of its intent to purchase flight services from Airship Ventures Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based company that conducts sight-seeing flights aboard a 12-passenger Zeppelin NT107 blimp. A 2008 lease agreement with NASA allows Airship Ventures to store the blimp in a World War II-era hangar located at Ames’ Moffett Field.

“The airship has specific maneuvering, acceleration, and hovering capabilities unavailable through other aircraft and airship companies,” NASA said in a solicitation posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website. “The services also require the installation of research equipment onto the airship, and contractor-support during the flight.”